Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is the most common name used to designate a significantly debilitating medical disorder or group of disorders generally defined by persistent fatigue accompanied by other specific symptoms for a minimum of six months in adults (and 3 months in children or adolescents), not due to ongoing exertion, not substantially relieved by rest, and not caused by other medical conditions. The disorder may also be referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or several other terms. Biological, genetic, infectious and psychological mechanisms have been proposed for the development and persistence of symptoms but the etiology of CFS is not understood and may have multiple causes. There is no diagnostic laboratory test or biomarker for CFS.
Symptoms of CFS include post-exertional malaise; unrefreshing sleep; widespread muscle and joint pain; sore throat; headaches of a type not previously experienced; cognitive difficulties; chronic, often severe, mental and physical exhaustion; and other characteristic symptoms in a previously healthy and active person. Persons with CFS may report additional symptoms including muscle weakness, increased sensitivity to light, sounds and smells, orthostatic intolerance, digestive disturbances, depression, painful and often slightly swollen lymph nodes, cardiac and respiratory problems. It is unclear if these symptoms represent co-morbid conditions or are produced by an underlying etiology of CFS. CFS symptoms vary from person to person in number, type, and severity.
Fatigue is a common symptom in many illnesses, but CFS is comparatively rare. Estimates of CFS prevalence vary widely, from 7 to 3,000 cases of CFS for every 100,000 adults, but national health organizations have estimated more than 1 million Americans and approximately a quarter of a million people in the UK have CFS. CFS occurs more often in women than men, and is less prevalent among children and adolescents. Quality of life is "particularly and uniquely disrupted" by CFS.
There is agreement on the genuine threat to health, happiness and productivity posed by CFS, but various physicians' groups, researchers and patient advocates promote different nomenclature, diagnostic criteria, etiologic hypotheses and treatments, resulting in controversy about many aspects of the disorder. The name "chronic fatigue syndrome" itself is controversial as many patients and advocacy groups, as well as some experts, believe the name trivializes the medical condition and want the name changed.
Other articles related to "chronic fatigue syndrome, syndrome, chronic fatigue, syndromes":
... by The Lancet, Wessely discusses the controversy relating to his work on Gulf War syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome ... but more by an overwhelming desire to get rid of the psychiatrists" from the area of chronic fatigue syndrome, despite having himself published research which concluded that "the stereotype of CFS sufferers ... In an article on chronic fatigue syndrome, The Guardian calls criticism from these activists a "vendetta" ...
... Chronic fatigue syndrome is an illness with a long history of controversies ... There has been much contention over the etiology, pathophysiology, nomenclature and diagnostic criteria ...
... In the first years after the introduction of the diagnosis chronic fatigue syndrome the condition was often mocked in the media, for example being described as "yuppie flu" ... an association between autonomic dysfunction and chronic fatigue syndrome and providing reliable data on the prevalence of CFS in the community, showing that it has ... numerous reviews and co-authoring the 1998 book Chronic fatigue and its syndromes ...
... The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC) was formed in response to the use of funds by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the study of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) ...
Famous quotes containing the words syndrome, chronic and/or fatigue:
“Women are taught that their main goal in life is to serve othersfirst men, and later, children. This prescription leads to enormous problems, for it is supposed to be carried out as if women did not have needs of their own, as if one could serve others without simultaneously attending to ones own interests and desires. Carried to its perfection, it produces the martyr syndrome or the smothering wife and mother.”
—Jean Baker Miller (20th century)
“Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?”
—Robert Frost (18741963)
“He is asleep. He knows no longer the fatigue of the work of deciding, the work to finish. He sleeps, he has no longer to strain, to force himself, to require of himself that which he cannot do. He no longer bears the cross of that interior life which proscribes rest, distraction, weaknesshe sleeps and thinks no longer, he has no more duties or chores, no, no, and I, old and tired, oh! I envy that he sleeps and will soon die.”
—Albert Camus (19131960)